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Old 05-15-2008, 03:35 PM   #1
Matthew Morgen
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Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Is there a reason dumbells cannot, or rather should not, be used as a acceptable substitute for kettlebells?

Buying 3 or 4 kettlebells seems like an unnecessary $ investment for me if dumbells are available for free. Any comments or insights as to what I'm missing- if anything- from using dumbells as a replacement when doing swings, presses, walks etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Yes, there is a difference. The question, is that difference important to you. I would get a kettlebell, play with it, and make your own decision based or your needs and goals.

The difference comes mainly from how the load is balanced, how the kettlebell move from begining point to end point, and the thickness of the handle. I find that kettlebell work is much more difficult than a dumbbell at the same weight, but difficult since more muscles are involved.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
Dave Campbell
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

I have a 1 pood DD kettlebell and an adjustable version (kettlestack). I like the kettlebell quite a bit, but it's hard to justify the high cost of a kettlebell (with or without shipping) when you can get a bunch of used DB's off of Craigslist for the cost of 1 of the heavier KB's.

I do like them a lot, but I'm not willing to pay the premium to get one. Just my .02
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #4
Andres Gordo
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

You need to try the kettlebells, very different than dumbells.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:44 PM   #5
Matthew Morgen
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andres Gordo View Post
You need to try the kettlebells, very different than dumbells.
Just found a thread that escaped an earlier search I did. Evidently, there is in fact a difference- albeit inexplicable. I'm gonna pick up a smaller one for myself and see how it goes.

Thanks though!
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
Dave Campbell
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Oh, there is a difference and they provide a unique challenge. You might even find yourself playing with them more often (which is a good thing). You definitely need to get at least one. You can now find them at large sporting good stores and I've seen them at Target which will save you a bundle in shipping costs.

You mentioned using them for swings, presses, and walks. You'll notice the most difference in the presses. Swings and walks won't be much (if any) different.

They are cool. Still, I don't find the "difference" worth 3-4 X the price of a dumbbell. The Garage Gym CFJ said the same thing.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
Bryan McWilliams
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Do what you want to do. But don't ask others to rubber stamp that decision, and say "Yeah, I spent money on kettlebells, but I didn't need to. I could have gotten the same value out of dumbells at 1/5 or less the price. I just have money to throw around"

I have a full rack (2.5 - 70 lb) of dumbells. I use them for weighted pull ups. Can't remember the last time I pressed, cleaned, or swung one.

These days my workouts are almost 100% k'bell. I have never had dumbells make me sweat like k'bells do.

Look at how many places sell the (admittedly) expensive kettlebell, with the (admittedly and justifiably - these things are heavy - expensive) shipping. Go to muscle driver's site, and see how may bells they are out of stock on.

The only equivalency between dumbells and kettlebells is the weight stamped on them.

Kettlebells throw you off balance, because they are not balanced. They make you lift the weight, and fight the off balance aspect.

People line up to pay Pavel $1800 so he can torment them on the way to making them RKC's. Can't remember the last time I saw a dumbell seminar.

My point is that kettlebells absolutely work, in ways that dumbells don't. Do the smallest bit of research, and you will see that. Kettlebells don't cure cancer, they won't make your lawn green, or your spouse considerate. But they do work. Kettlebells aren't dumbells, and dumbells are not kettlebells. There is place for both. Otherwise, ask yourself, why would so many people pay the HIGH kettlebell premium? Why? Because they work!

Dumbells are great. Not a thing in the world wrong with them. But dumbells will no more do what kettlebells do, than dumbells will do what my Concept II does.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
Dave Campbell
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

You're absolutely right.

Kettlebells are the best fitness invention ever.

They weren't any fit people before Pavel introduced Kettlebells to the US.

It's also why Crossfit - Forging Elite Fitness bases it's revolutionary approach to fitness around kettlebells.

You don't see dumbbell seminars because dumbbells are not effective.

:stir:
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:47 PM   #9
Bryan McWilliams
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

Dave

Very useful/helpful response.

Thanks so much.

I did NOT put down dumbells. I own them, and I use them. I am familiar with Coach Rut and his program. I said dumbells are great. The original question was, "can you get the same effect from dumbells as you can from kettlebells?"

The answer I gave was "No you can't. They are different tools A dumbell is not a kettlebell". And that is the truth. You have a problem with that?


Always helpful when someone adds value to the conversation
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:58 PM   #10
Matthew Morgen
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Re: Kettlebell v. Dumbell

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Originally Posted by Bryan McWilliams View Post

Kettlebells throw you off balance, because they are not balanced. They make you lift the weight, and fight the off balance aspect.
So is the argument for the KB based on its ability to incorporate more or perhaps even new muscles that would otherwise not be utilized?
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